Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wings to Fly — 18

Memoir Index

Turning Point in Business

It was January of 2005. My mother-in-law Marjorie was very sick. In fact she was dying of cancer. Mannatech, a nutraceutical company, had invited Tamara and I to come with them to their corporate trip to Hawaii. We were very excited. Yet I was not sure if I should go with Marjorie being sick as she was. She told me. “Go for your trip. I want you to go.” By now Tom was spending most of his days with his mom. With Tom at his mom’s side daily I felt it was OK.

Even as I was planning to go to Hawaii, I knew my days with my business were soon over. I realized that business success required more than excitement, vision, diligence, and long-suffering. I lacked the key ingredients; The business savvy, the street smart, and the stomach to take what a business can throw at you. I had difficulty discerning who will eat us alive and who or what will actually help the growth of Proevity. And I was the president!

In Hawaii, the weather was beautiful. The scenery was breathtaking. Meals were exquisite. Luau I attended was so enjoyable. I was carefree and even volunteered to go up on the stage (along with children and many other volunteers) to learn hula dance. We would try to follow the professional dancers and we were so comical that the audience laughed until they cried.

There was a longing tugging at me. I missed Tom so terribly. I was at a place so beautiful and I was here with Tamara, not my husband. For the first time since the start of the business, I would miss him so much in my business trip. Every beautiful place we were at, the beautiful mountains whose trail is dotted by more beautiful ponds where we would stop and dip in the water, I would wish for Tom’s presence with me.

I am not sure what we accomplished those ten days. Tamara felt that we accomplished a lot. She was full of hope and expectation as always. I wanted my husband more than business success.

I came home on January 9th. On January 10th Tom and I went to be with his mom. The next day she passed away. I was thankful that she told me to go to Hawaii and I was thankful that she waited until I came home to see her before she passed away.

There would be even more testing for me regarding Tom’s calling to serve God. By this time it has been a year and a half since Tom had asked me if we could “live by faith” alone; meaning no support from any one other than ourselves. My respond to him had been “absolutely NOT”.

He wanted to give notice to our church that he did not want any full time minister’s stipend. There was a political force coming from Southern California in our church and he was not willing to be dictated by their creed in serving Jesus.

My business was not making money. Typically by the time we paid all of our employees and vendors we had nearly nothing left for the owners. Although many spiritual men in the past entered into service for the Lord without any expectation of any support in sight, yet I was not such a person. These great men of God also encountered so much human suffering. This I did not want either.

I reconsidered Tom’s request to go into next level of living by faith. Whether I liked it or not I was bound to Tom with love I could not shake. I considered going back to work as a pharmacist for the first time in about ten years. The thought scared me. Yet to stay in my business was not an option. My business can not support our family. Tom felt God always took care of us and will take care of us no matter what.

There was a problem. I could not just walk away from my business. We had three employees who relied on me for their wages. I was held by my deep belief that if my actions hurt others, even at the point of my own destruction, I couldnot and will not do it. It would be nine more months before I would have enough courage to tell Tamara that I must leave the business; that she is on her own. And this also would require deep healing of my inner being before I could walk away.

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